Dash cameras have absolutely exploded in popularity all over the world during the last few years and, even at a cursory glance, it’s easy to see why. As they’ve become both more affordable and more powerful in equal measure, they’re a perfect way to support your own safe driving habits, protect yourself against insurance fraud, gain better visibility into car accidents and more — essentially all at the same time. But while you may have realized they were popular, their true level of prominence in countries like the United Kingdom may still come as a surprise. A recent study revealed that about one in five drivers now uses some type of dash cam device in that country on a daily basis — a number that is climbing all the time.

Dash Camera

Dash Cams in the UK: What You Need to Know

The study, conducted by the experts at WeBuyAnyCar.com, even helped to shed insight into how these cameras are being used. A full 60% of owners say that they’ve used their device to record a road traffic accident, an instance where someone else on the road was engaged in unsafe driving habits, a car-related crime, anti-social behavior from pedestrians and more. All of this helps to underline the point that dash cams aren’t just for your own personal protection any longer.

That’s the good news. The even better news is that these dash cams are already having a massive effect on the country at large in the best possible way. The same study revealed that Metropolitan Police saw a significant 7% reduction in car accidents during the period from March 2017 to March 2018, when compared to the same length of time just a year prior. On average, that means there are about 397 fewer collisions on a monthly basis.

A lot of this has to do with the new era of accountability that has been ushered onto roads across the United Kingdom. If you know that the chances are high that at least one of the drivers around you has a dash cam, you’re less likely to engage in unsafe driving practices or to take unnecessary risks out of fear of being caught. After a certain point, it almost becomes like muscle memory — you play it safe and stay under the speed limit not necessarily because you want to, but because you’ve trained yourself to, essentially. It’s the same basic idea behind “seat belt laws” in the United States. After a while, you wear a seat belt primarily because you want to avoid getting pulled over and handed a costly violation. But the end result is the same as if you were doing so willingly: You and everyone around you are naturally safer as a result.

Diving back into the findings from the study, it was also noted that over one-third of UK drivers with dash cams say that they’ve captured footage of dangerous driving situations on the roads of their country. This includes instances of tailgating, which are major contributing factors to accidents. Likewise, 12% say that they’ve caught instances of anti-social behavior from pedestrians. That itself goes a long way toward proving that it isn’t just drivers that people have to worry about. You don’t actually need a car to find yourself in the middle of a dangerous situation.

Interestingly, drivers have also managed to curb the “cash for crash” epidemic — a situation where another driver may intentionally cause an accident in an attempt to extort money from their victims. This scheme is particularly popular in Russia, which is why a lot of the dash cam videos you see on video streaming sites like YouTube always seem to come from that particular location.

With benefits as plentiful as these, it’s easy to see why dash cams are so popular — and why they will continue to be all over the world for years to come.